Wanted (2008)

A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin, and that he shares his father’s superhuman killing abilities. (IMDb)
The set-up in the first half-hour here is terribly contrived and cheesy, but it leads to an exciting premise capped off by a couple of good plot twists near the end. The over-the-top action along with the abundance of f-bombs and unique slow-motion shots combine to make an entertaining in-your-face experience (the “FUCK YOU” in airborne keyboard letters was particularly cool) but it occasionally feels too try-hard. Mostly bad acting regrettably cements this mixed bag of a film in mediocrity.
6.5/10 (Alright)

Under Suspicion (2000)

under_suspicion

A lawyer is asked to come to the police station to clear up a few loose ends in his witness report of a foul murder. This will only take ten minutes, they say, but it turns out to be one loose end after another, and the ten minutes he is away from his speech become longer and longer… (IMDb)
With its main plot set in a limited time and place, this film takes interesting dips into the past as a detective “enters into” a suspect’s memories as he recalls them in real time. Interesting visual and musical montages add to this unique screenplay that skillfully increases the intrigue and emotion, leading up to a regrettably anti-climatic ending that deflates instead of explodes. Freeman and Hackman are charismatic in their roles, however, and highlight an overall solid mystery-thriller.
7/10 (Good)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Eight years after the Joker’s reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight is forced to return from his imposed exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman. (IMDb)
The entertainment value here is again sky high, with nary a dull moment; the narrative is wonderfully layered with constant twists and turns at each level. It doesn’t feel quite as deep or dark as its predecessor, and Hardy’s Bane isn’t quite as interesting as Ledger’s Joker (although that was a tough act to follow), but the plot’s new lows of despair for Batman and Gotham, along with the cast additions of Hathaway and Gordon-Levitt, add freshness and help craft for it its own positive identity.
9/10 (Amazing)

 

The Dark Knight (2008)

When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (IMDb)
A truly riveting movie from beginning to end, never letting up its incredible pace: It’s jam-packed with edge-of-your-seat action (that car chase!), fascinating themes (issues of morality and the human psyche are explored) complex characters (the line between villain and hero is blurred) and captivating performances (you never want to blink when Ledger is on screen), all perfectly complimented by an exciting and epic score. It’s the quintessential superhero movie.
9/10 (Amazing)

Batman Begins (2005)

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his war on crime to free the crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption that the Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it. (IMDb)
There is the exciting action and fun one-liners common to most superhero movies here, but it is the gritty human feel of the movie that gives it a depth uncommon amongst its genre peers. Intriguing dialogue about justice and morality is weaved throughout an excellent story that does well at balancing a good guy vs. bad guy plot with the fascinating tale of Batman’s “beginning”. The acting and music are also top notch and complete a great film that makes you so excited for the next one.
8.5/10 (Amazing)

Se7en (1995)

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi. (IMDb)
Starts off a bit slow and muddy (a second viewing might help) but gradually registers and increases in tension and intrigue as it goes on. The spine-tingling mystery plot is complimented by the film’s dark and rainy atmosphere captured by some really cool camerawork throughout, while the grizzled vet/rash rookie dynamic is played off well by Freeman and Pitt, adding some darkly humourous banter to the mix. Spacey, meanwhile, is a chilling villain who hypnotizes in the stunning drawn-out finale.
8/10 (Great)